Tag: value

The Value Of Lessons Learned

October 12th, 2016   •   no comments   


A lot can be learned from listening to sports coaches when they talk about not getting too high over a victory or too low over a loss.  Everything has to be kept in perspective. In business, mistakes happen, all kinds of disasters occur, and sometimes they result in doors closing.  On the other hand, there can be a surprise win- landing a big account, vaulting ahead of the competition. But being number one can be short lived. Neither troubled times nor great times are going to be permanent.  What can we learn from both conditions?

lessonslearned10122016_Fighter pilots file after action reports. Football players review game films to go over what went well and what did not.  Business leaders can use similar practices to use the past to help build the future.

The practice followed by many successful leaders is “review, reflect and revise”.  This involves more than just evaluating the end game. It means applying the process to every plan, every play, every role and player from inception through  to  conclusion. This simple process leads to catching mistakes before they happen and become disasters, snatching success from the possibility of failure.

Rather than being the leader that celebrates every success and bemoans every failure, are you willing to join the league of leaders that uses an ongoing approach to continually learn lessons from what has come before and use them to advise their future?

First Step in Motivation – Understand it to Expand it!

September 11th, 2012   •   no comments   

“Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.”  James Allen

Why motivation? Experience and research demonstrate motivation is what helps people to achieve lofty visions and difficult goals.    Therefore, it makes sense that businesses that want to be successful and sustainable need to help discover what motivates their people.   What drives them to achieve, innovate and excel!

By the way, you can stop reading right now if you don’t care about success or sustainability.

Let’s start by understanding motivation. Businessdictionary.com has an interesting and pretty comprehensive definition of motivation.

Internal and external factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested in and committed to a job, role, or subject, and to exert persistent effort in attaining a goal.

Motivation results from the interactions among conscious and unconscious factors such as the:

  1. intensity of desire or need
  2. incentive or reward value of the goal
  3. expectations of the individual and of his or her significant others.
Some research regarding motivation:
In 1943, Abraham Maslow identified five needs:
  1. physiological,
  2. safety,
  3. social,
  4. ego, and
  5. self- actualizing.

Maslow supported the theory  that lower level needs had to be satisfied before the next higher level need would motivate employees.

Frederick Herzberg (Herzberg, Mausner, & Snyderman, 1959) categorized motivation into two factors:

  1. Motivator or intrinsic factors, such as achievement and recognition, produce job satisfaction.
  2. Hygiene or extrinsic factors, such as pay and job security, produce job dissatisfaction.

1964, Victor Vroom theorized on the belief that employee effort will lead to performance and performance will lead to rewards.  Rewards may be either positive or negative.

  1. Positive rewards will more likely lead to highly motivated employees
  2. Negative rewards will more likely lead to demotivated employees.

Hawthorne study finding of 1973,identified some key findings in terms of the different social and psychological factors that impact employee productivity and motivation:

  1. Over-reliance on the aptitude of individuals to determine job success. It is possible that strong physical and mental potential can have some determination of success in the work place, but social factors have more of an influence on work produced.
  2. Impact of informal organization on progress. Researchers discovered the more cohesive and friendly employees were to each other, and supervisors were to the workers, the higher the productivity and output from individuals.
  3. The norms of work-groups. The researchers saw the work-groups arrive at a group consensus about what a fair days amount of work is, and they set their efforts in accordance with this goal, resolving together to not work further even in the face of a financial incentive.
  4. The workplace is a social system made up of interdependent parts. The workplace, further, needs to be treated like a society in order to be successful.

In 1986, Edwin A Locke and Gary P. Lantham asserted that:

  • Performance goals or intentions are immediate regulators or causes of task or work performance
  • Research showed repeatedly that people who  try to attain specific and challenging (difficult) goals perform better on tasks than people who try for specific moderate to easy goals, vague goals such as “do your best,” or no goals at all

In 1990, William A. Kahn’s research involved studying the psychological conditions of personal engagement and disengagement at work. In this work he defined “work engagement as a positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind that is characterized by vigor.” Vigor shows up as:

  1. High levels of energy and mental resilience while working
  2. Willingness to invest effort in one’s work
  3. Persistence even in the face of difficulties
  4. Dedication by being strongly involved in one’s work
  5. Experiencing a sense of significance, enthusiasm, inspiration, pride, and challenge

With work engagement, it becomes imperative that leadership pays close attention to the above. or lack thereof, to ensure that work conditions support the energy and motivation required to achieve success and sustainability in business.

This information is just a brief walk through history from the last half of the 20th century.  Which has built a strong foundation to help leaders, owners and entrepreneurs more fully understand the power of motivation.  The intention is to offers some useful insights into the numerous and complex impacts on behaviors and success.
Two common themes that seem to evolving are:

  1. internal or intrinsic influencers
  2. external or extrinsic influencers

To understand motivation by simplifying  into 2 broad categories can start businesses on the path to success and sustainability.  Another 720thinking way to expand your business view.

More to come from the 21st century.

Wouldn’t Business be Grand if…?

July 26th, 2012   •   no comments   

Wouldn’t business be grand if 1plus 1 always added up to 2 or A was always followed by B? 

Quite honestly, if if the sum of 1 and 1 always equals 2 or B always comes after A, then business is going to boring because motivation will be shot in the butt and innovation flushed down the toilet. Let’s be real and realistic here, there is  a reason even the model T Ford morphed into something different.

So, how can we change so that we are continually  adding value to our business and for our customers?  How do we stay fresh and fabulous to the rest of the world?  What will cause our competitors to stand up and take notice, our stakeholders to want to invest, in fact beg to invest, and our name is on speed dial, text and email with our clients?

If you’re okay with being average and dependable in providing your products and services then stop reading right now. If you think that a simple, linear approach to planning and execution is no longer going to cut it, then read on

I’d like to share one method that has been proven to help make business grand from one of the masters of innovation Walt Disney – Plus it or Plussing.  In the 1940’s Disney coined the term “plussing – a verb meant to give people more than they expect.”

Here are some other interesting interpretations of Disney’s “plussing

Seth Godin wrote:

“Taking your work a little farther. Going closer to an edge, whichever edge.”

John Torre wrote:

“Normally, the word “plus” is a conjunction, but not in Walt’s vocabulary. To Walt, “plus” was a verb—an action word—signifying the delivery of more than what his customers paid for or expected to receive….

He constantly challenged his artists and Imagineers to see what was possible, and then take it a step further…and then a step beyond that. Why did he go to the trouble of making everything better when “good enough” would have sufficed? Because for Walt, nothing less than the best was acceptable when it bore his name and reputation, and he did whatever it took to give his guests more value than they expected to receive for their dollar.

Wouldn’t it be grand to have wild, wacky ideas continually cropping up to generate value added motivation and innovation to your business? What would it mean to your customers if you gave people more than they expected? How would your employees perform is they were asked in as part of their job description to start “making things better,” rather than just filling the order?  When we start asking these types of questions, what kind of results will we expect?

Wouldn’t business be grand if we started “plussing?”  Business might expand exponentially.

We are looking forward to you ideas, thoughts and comments.

Think “Esprit de Corps”!

May 16th, 2012   •   no comments   

To make progress, profits, growth or success, it is absolutely necessary to create “Esprit de Corps.” Napoleon Hill, author of the classic read Think and Grow Rich defined as “a spirit of common understanding and cooperation.”   

 The leader, the entrepreneur, the executive’s most significant role in any situation is to help build cohesion and effectiveness in a team. Building an environment that continuously supports attitudes of harmony, commitment, discipline, and effort is more valuable than being able to do every job better than everyone else.

If the “troops” feel valued, there will be evidence of improved commitment and respect which leads to spectacular results! If the group is asked for their opinion, rather than told what to do, there is new energy and ideas constantly flowing! If relationships are nurtured, there is tremendous support and amazing results.

When the leader says “I need your help”, the team sees an opportunity to rise to the occasion and utilize their strengths , skills and knowledge to make changes and turn situations around! When the executive realizes that the assets in the company are the human potential, then all of the products, widgets, buildings can be destroyed, but the organization still stands. When the entrepreneur realizes that relationships and contacts are the life line to success, then they will have unlimited resources and energy to move that product or idea to market.  The leader, the entrepreneur and the executive will discover a strong “esprit de corps” is not just a want but an absolute necessity!

Here are a few tips that can help build strong collaborative relationships:

  • Partnering – Take an internal and external audit of your relationships. Identify what each relationship means to you. Do you have strong colleagues that support and strive to give you assistance? Are you willing to reciprocate and exchange ideas, time, money, energy and other valuable resources?  If the partnership is leaving you, or the other person cold, now is the time to evaluate the situation and make a choice to take the association to an entirely new level. Or, is it time to move on, keeping in mind what is in the best interest of all partners involved.
  • Brainstorm – Establish opportunities to be generative and creative, rather than limited and narrow minded.  Have plenty of white boards, white space, flip charts, colored markers, post-it notes and paper available. Throw thoughts and impressions out there. Make sure everyone is heard. Most of all, don’t edit!
  • Readjust  – This doesn’t mean that the vision changes. It is important to keep your eye on the strategy.  It is equally as important to appreciate that other members of your team have some new and interesting approaches that can enhance as business results.  It is also important to admit that a goal or approach may not be working any more. Adjust the technique – not the target.
  • Celebrate –  Enjoy the milestones and small successes. Take time to point out accomplishments. Enjoying a healthy laugh (and sometime cry) together is valuable. Use celebrations to add fresh and new energy to each collaborative experience.

When we think “Esprit de Corps”, we can create tremendous understanding and cooperation!

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